The Amazing Beaches of St John
To see where these beaches are in relation to Stonehouse view our map. The Northshore beaches are a 5 minute ride by car or taxi.
The water at Hawknest is clear and inviting and the snorkeling is fair. Located relatively close to Cruz Bay and popular among locals, Hawknest is often crowded on weekends. The beach has several small coves that provide a bit of seclusion. This beach has good parking and is easily accessible from the road. Hawknest is a National Park Beach. There is a covered picnic area on the beach. The beach is lined with sea grape trees, which is perfect for getting a little shade. Fall/Winter 2004 restrooms are being built with additional services.
Beautiful waters and wonderful white sand has made Trunk Bay one of the most popular beaches among visitors.
Renowned for its underwater snorkeling trail, Trunk Bay is definitely worth a visit. Six hundred and fifty (650) feet of underwater trails are a highlight for Trunk Bay’s visitors. You can rent snorkel gear on the beach. Trunk Bay is a National Park Beach. There is an admission charge from 8am-4pm of $4. (Note: Large groups of visitors can be expected during high visitor season and when cruise ships are in port. Please don’t let that stop you from going to Trunk Bay, the cruise ship vistors leave after a few hours and the beach gets nice and quiet again.)
Cinnamon Bay is almost one mile and is the National Park’s longest beach. This great beach offers snorkeling, swimming, water sports rentals and more. A concession rents windsurfing equipment, kayaks and mountain bikes. There is good snorkeling off the point on the right side of the beach, however the swim can be a bit challenging and long. Across from the beach and campground is a nature trail. The clear waters will tempt you to spend your time swimming and snorkeling, while the palm trees will call you to spread your beach blanket in their shade and relax. This is definitely a beach you can spend the entire day.
Salomon is a small, lovely beach. There is no road access to the beach so it is usually sparsely populated. To get to the beach you will have to hike from Cruz Bay or visit by boat. The hike to the beach is not difficult. Salomon is a great beach for relaxing on the shore and swimming. Honeymoon beach is close-by, so you can make a day of hiking to both beaches. (Nude bathing is ILLEGAL in the Virgin Islands. Salomon used to a beach where nude bathers were causally looked over however this has changed. National Park rangers patrol the beach and issue tickets to offenders!)
Salt Pond Bay
Salt Pond Bay is a beautiful bay. The water is amazingly clear and enticing. It is really a gorgeous beach. It is recommended for ‘off the beaten path’ visitors, as it is a short hike down hill from the parking lot. You can continue hiking around a nearby salt pond toward the ocean. The waters at Salt Pond Bay offer good snorkeling. The beach is usually sparsely populated. (Beware of thorny scrubs and ants.)
Leinster Bay is a great beach for walking and exploring. Mangrove trees line the left hand side of the Bay. The water is very shallow for a long distance and then it quickly drops off and becomes the open ocean. The shoreline is fairly pebbly, however there are a few sandy areas that can be used to enter the water for a swim.
Great Cruz Bay
A beautifully manicured beach, Great Cruz Bay is the location of the Westin Resort. The beach is lined with palm trees and is very inviting. There are water sports activities available, beach umbrellas and beach chairs. The beach amenities are usually reserved for hotel guest, however non-guest can pay to use them. There is a bar/restaurant at the hotel pool.
A little bit of a beach, Jumbie Beach is still a lovely spot to spread your towel, beach blanket or just to lay in the sand. A walk down wooden steps and a short trail leads you to the beach from the main road. Parking is limited to ‘on the side of the road’ spots. These spots have enough space for at most four cars. Be cautious the water deepens quickly.
Maho Bay is a long beautiful, white sand beach. It is close to the road so access is easy, however roadside parking is limited. Boaters often frequent Maho on the weekends. The bay is calm and sheltered. Turtles and rays are often spotted at Maho Bay. The water is relatively shallow so is good for children. It is a beautiful long beach, and you are sure to find your own little spot to relax in.
Visit Francis Bay and you will find yourself on one of St. John’s longest beaches. This beautiful beach has some picnic tables along the shoreline. A good place for bird watching as there is a large amount of birds around the Francis Bay area. The beach is usually sparsely populated. There is good snorkeling at the right side of the bay.
Little Cruz Bay
The first beach that you see when the ferry pulls into Cruz Bay is little Cruz Bay on the right and the left of the dock. Little Cruz Bay is lined by palm trees and is a lovely spot to stop and sit while waiting for the ferry or to take a break while walking around Cruz Bay. The water is clear and inviting, however there are always boats anchored in the water. Shops and restaurants line one side of Little Cruz Bay and the taxi stand lines the other. Little Cruz Bay is one of the busiest little beaches on St. John.
A short hike to Waterlemon and you will find yourself at a pretty white sand beach. Great snorkeling is to be found in the waters around a small cay at the far end of Waterlemon. The waters are calm. It is common to see turtles here. Waterlemon is located below the Annaberg Plantation and a little further than Leinster Bay.